End of a War

Wars in Afghanistan don’t usually end well.

This painting by Lady Butler is called Remnants of an Army. It shows William Brydon, assistant surgeon in the Bengal Army, arriving at the gates of Jalalabad in January 1842. He is bringing news of the sorry fate of 16,000 soldiers and camp followers from the 1842 retreat from Kabul in the First Anglo-Afghan War.

This is more or less what generally happens to foreign armies that mess with Afghanistan. Why on earth did Blair let us get involved there in the first place? As a rvenge for 9/11? Then why didn’t they try to deal with Saudi Arabia, where the terrorists actually came from?

This week has been a dismal end to an unfortunate and costly enterprise.

One Comment

  1. Steve Paradis
    Posted August 22, 2021 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    That was the prettified version, by at least one account. Bryden was the last survivor of the mounted men, nearly all officers, who broke away from the column when the tribesmen closed in.
    Recalled to modern readers in “Flashman”, who also evoked this:

    Fraser’s reaction to Tony Blair joining in on Bush’s war was incandescent rage.


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